The 2011 Cash Converters  Players Championship, as a whole, offered something for even the most casual of tungsten observers, despite criticism of the crowd, both low in numbers and high in (play distracting) volume. 170 checkouts a plenty, including back to back ones from Wes Newton, thrilling final leg shootouts and Taylor toppled at only the second hurdle, with many other highly fancied and seeded players following him on the M18 home.

Scott Rand came of age in front of the TV cameras, the Coventry player certainly lived up to his ‘cool hand’ name, grabbed everyone’s attention and ruffled a few feathers along the way. Taking the notable scalps of van Barneveld and Wade before his eventual semi-final loss to a rejuvenated Kevin Painter.

This left us with a Mark Webster versus Painter final, following Websters defeat of Wes Newton in the evenings other semi-final. Painter went on to claim his maiden TV major title, which along with all the final days action is described in more detail in the PDC report below:

Final & Semi-finals – Evening Session

KEVIN PAINTER won the first major title of his career with a brilliant 13-9 defeat of Mark Webster in the Cash Converters Players Championship final at the Doncaster Dome on Sunday night.

Painter, the 2004 World Championship runner-up when he lost to Phil Taylor in a sudden-death leg, finally held aloft major silverware by claiming the £60,000 title.

The 44-year-old had stared defeat in the face in his semi-final, coming from 9-6 against newcomer Scott Rand down to win 10-9, but turned on the style in the final with nine 180s and three ton-plus finishes.

“It’s incredible,” admitted Painter. “It’s been a long time coming for me and a lot of people kept saying that I’d missed my chance to win a major in the 2004 World Championship, but this shows them that I hadn’t.

“I’ve always believed that I can do this and you have to stick with it because anything can happen in this sport. I’ve come good when it mattered in the semi-finals and final and it came together at the right time.”

Webster edged the final’s opening leg before Painter hit a nerve-settling 180 and double 16 to level and then broke by hitting the same bed.

However, a miss at double 18 in the next allowed Webster to win the fourth, and he then repeated the double top finish to lead 3-2.

Painter hit back with a 101 finish, and after Webster took the seventh following a 180 he then took three in a row, including a brilliant 11-darter, to move 6-4 up.

Double top gave Webster his fifth leg before a 68 finish from Painter edged him out to 7-5, although he paid the price for missing a single 20 to leave the bull in the next as the left-hander stepped in on double seven.

Any hopes Webster had of levelling the game, though, were shattered in the next as Painter hit back-to-back 180s in an 11-darter, which he followed with finishes of 110 and 104 to lead 10-6.

Double top gave Webster the next, but Painter again set up a potential nine-darter with two 180s.

He missed a seventh treble 20 for the second time, but again mopped up the leg in 12 darts to lead 11-7 before moving a leg away from victory on double 12 following two misses from the Welshman.

Webster hit double 16 to keep the game alive in the next, but his respite was brief as Painter hit a key 140 to leave 67, which he took out on double 16 before dropping to his knees in joy at the first major of his career.

“I got some fluency in my game in the semis and final and I thought I played well in the final,” added Painter, who moves up to ninth in the PDC Order of Merit following the triumph.

“You have to dig in when it gets tough and I did that. If you’d said to me at the start of the week that I was going to be the champion, I’d have thought your head wasn’t screwed on properly.

“I’ve been playing alright and it wasn’t beyond me to win a tournament but everything has to come together to win a tournament and it did for me.

“I had a bit of luck at times but my finishing throughout the whole tournament was good. I think the 104 in the final was the turning point, Mark was on a double and it was a great shot.

“He came back at me but fortunately I took the 67 out. The crowd were fantastic and they gave me great support, and it’s a very special moment.”

Painter had earlier won a thrilling semi-final with Coventry newcomer Scott Rand, who was the width of a wire from winning a place in his first major final inside two years as a professional.

The lorry driver, who knocked out Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade during the event, led 9-6 but saw his only two darts for victory, at double 16, land agonisingly on the wrong side of the wire as Painter won four successive legs.

Webster had taken a 10-7 victory over world number seven Wes Newton in the other semi-final, and took home £24,000 as the runner-up in his first major PDC singles final.

“I’m devastated,” said Webster afterwards. “I underperformed in the final and Kevin played really well and he deserved it.

“I never settled from the word go and I’m really disappointed, but Kevin took out some great shots.

“I’m down at the moment but I’ve got to pick myself up because I’ve got my first round game in the World Championship to play on Thursday night. If I can become World Champion this will be forgotten about.”

Cash Converters Players Championship
Semi-Finals

Mark Webster 10-7 Wes Newton
Kevin Painter 10-9 Scott Rand
Losers £15,000

Final
Kevin Painter 13-9 Mark Webster
Winner £60,000
Runner-Up £24,000

 

 

Quarter Finals – Afternoon Session

SCOTT RAND’S incredible weekend at the Cash Converters Players Championship continued as he defeated world number three James Wade 9-5 to win through to the semi-finals at the Doncaster Dome.

The lorry driver from Coventry’s dream of winning the £60,000 title and giving up his day job to become a full-time professional continues after he followed up Saturday’s defeat of Raymond van Barneveld with another major scalp.

Wade led 3-1 early on, but Rand took charge with a run of five successive legs in mid-game before holding his nerve to reach the last four in only his fourth major tournament.

“It’s another great win for me,” said Rand. “I love playing on the stage and it’s going really well for me so far.

“I’ve beaten another established player and it would be good to shake it up a bit more. It would be amazing to be able to give up work and do this for a living, and I’ve got a great chance tonight to make that a reality.”

Rand now meets Kevin Painter in the last four, after the 2004 World Championship runner-up defeated Mervyn King 9-7 to win through to his first televised semi-final since the 2009 UK Open.

King had knocked out reigning champion Phil Taylor on Saturday evening, but was unable to repeat the performance as Painter progressed.

The players ranked sixth and seventh in the world, Mark Webster and Wes Newton, will meet in the other semi-final after winning through dramatic games.

Newton secured a 9-5 victory against Mark Walsh by hitting back-to-back 170 checkouts, while Webster edged past Dave Chisnall 9-8 following a tense final-leg thriller.

The semi-finals and final will be played on Sunday evening, with tournament’s winner earning £60,000 and a place on the PDC’s Roll of Honour, as all four players have yet to take victory in a major PDC event.

Cash Converters Players Championship
Quarter-Finals

Mark Walsh 5-9 Wes Newton
Scott Rand 9-5 James Wade
Kevin Painter 9-7 Mervyn King
Mark Webster 9-8 Dave Chisnall

Evening Session (7pm)
Semi-Finals

Wes Newton v Mark Webster
Kevin Painter v Scott Rand
Best of 19 legs

Final
9.45pm
Best of 25 legs

WES NEWTON 9-5 MARK WALSH
WES NEWTON hit back-to-back 170 checkouts to take a 9-5 win over Mark Walsh and win through to the semi-finals of the Cash Converters Players Championship.

The Fleetwood ace created a piece of history by taking the game’s final two legs with the maximum finish, as he moved into his second major semi-final of 2011.

Having been defeated in June’s UK Open final, the 34-year-old will now bid to claim his maiden major title on Sunday night, with both the semi-finals and final taking place at the Doncaster Dome.

“The 170s were special and it’s lovely to win a match like that,” admitted Newton. “My finishes are going in and I hit them when I had the chance there, so hopefully I can take that into the semis now.

“I was fighting all the way there and I can score better, but I’m through and that’s all that matters.

“I was nervous coming into this game so I’m relieved to be through, but I’ll relax now ahead of the semis.”

Walsh edged the opening exchanges, hitting a 180 in taking the first leg and 108 to win the third after Newton had hit double ten to level.

The Fleetwood ace, though, finished a showpiece 100 with two double tops in the third and then finished 103 to break and lead 3-2, despite Walsh opening the leg with a maximum.

He then finished double top and double ten to win the next two and take a 5-2 lead, although Walsh hit back well to win the next two, hitting a 180 and double six for a third leg and double four to win his fourth.

Newton kicked off the tenth with a maximum – his second in as many legs – and finished double top to move 6-4 up.

Walsh replied on double 16, but Newton won a seventh leg to regain a two-leg advantage and went on to seal the victory with his brace of show-stopping 170s.

SCOTT RAND 9-5 JAMES WADE
SCOTT RAND’S incredible weekend at the Cash Converters Players Championship continued as he defeated world number three James Wade 9-5 to win through to the semi-finals at the Doncaster Dome.

The lorry driver from Coventry’s dream of winning the £60,000 title and giving up his day job to become a full-time professional continues after he followed up Saturday’s defeat of Raymond van Barneveld with another major scalp.

Wade led 3-1 early on, but Rand took charge with a run of five successive legs in mid-game before holding his nerve to reach the last four in only his fourth major tournament.

“It’s another great win for me,” said Rand. “I love playing on the stage and it’s going really well for me so far.

“I’ve beaten another established player and it would be good to shake it up a bit more. It would be amazing to be able to give up work and do this for a living, and I’ve got a great chance tonight to make that a reality.”

Wade had taken the game’s opening leg against the throw on double top, after Rand missed the bull, and posted double five to double his lead in the second in a strong start.

Rand hit a 180 and punished a miss from the left-hander to post double 16 and get off the mark, although Wade replied in style with a maximum of his own in the fourth, hitting tops to move 3-1 up.

Rand won the fifth with a 13-darter which included another 180, but missed his chance to level in the sixth as double ten saw Wade regain a two-leg lead.

That advantage was cut when Rand took out a 14-darter on double nine and then finished 102 to break Wade’s throw and level.

He then landed double eight to lead for the first time and hit the same bed for a 6-4 lead before taking a fifth successive leg, finishing 81 for a 12-darter despite a 180 from Wade.

Wade hit back by checking out 40 with an improvised double five and double 15, but was left waiting on a finish in the next as Rand finished double eight to move a leg away from victory at 8-5.

A fourth 180 of the game saw Rand first to a finish in the next as he left 90 before returning to take out the combination on the bull for another famous win.

Wade admitted: “I didn’t play well enough to win and he did a good job to beat me. I’ll regroup from this and get ready for the World Championship now.”

KEVIN PAINTER 9-7 MERVYN KING
KEVIN PAINTER won through to his first major semi-final since 2009 with a 9-7 win over Mervyn King in the Cash Converters Players Championship on Sunday afternoon.

The former World Championship finalist followed up his second round win over Gary Anderson on Saturday night with another strong performance, hitting over 40 percent of his chances at a double to see off King.

King had knocked out reigning champion and world number one Phil Taylor on Saturday night, but was unable to repeat the performance has he exited the tournament.

King did hold the edge early on, finishing 84 on the bull in the opening leg and also winning the third, with Painter hitting double 18 in leg two but unable to land two darts at the bed in the next as his opponent capitalised on double five.

Painter stepped in following misses from King to level in the fourth, and then finished double eight in three successive legs to move 5-2 up.

Painter’s winning run was ended in the next leg when he missed tops and King landed double ten, but was unable to hit the bull for a 124 checkout as Painter finished double four for a 14-darter in regaining his advantage.

King replied in kind with a 180 and hit double six to win a fourth leg, only to then burst his score when needing 70 to allow Painter in to hit double 16, before double ten moved him 8-4 up.

King battled to keep the match alive by winning the next two legs, hitting a pair of maximums and finishes of 69 and double two to pull back to 8-6.

Painter then missed the bull for a 122 checkout as King reduced the gap to one leg by landing the bull himself to finish 86.

Painter, though, hit four ton-plus scores in the next leg and finished double 15 to secure his place in the semis, where he meets Scott Rand.

“To beat Mervyn is a great victory for me because he’s a class player,” said Painter. “I often moan about having bad luck but I’ve had some good luck in this event with a couple of top players under-performing against me.

“I’m playing well and I’ve taken advantage by nicking legs where I can. My scoring’s not been as good as I’d like but my finishing has been good.”

King admitted: “I couldn’t find my doubles in the first eight legs and I didn’t score like I can. Kevin took advantage and he was the better player on the day.”

MARK WEBSTER 9-8 DAVE CHISNALL
MARK WEBSTER edged a dramatic 17-leg thriller with Dave Chisnall to win through to the semi-finals of the Cash Converters Players Championship in a tight last eight contest.

Chisnall, seeking to reach his first major PDC semi-final, led 3-1 early on but saw the lead slip away as Webster took five successive legs to move into a 7-4 lead.

He also took an 8-5 lead but was unable to close out victory as Chisnall clawed his way back to level, before Webster finally secured the win with his 11th match dart.

“It was scrappy at times but it was an exciting game too and I’m glad to be through,” said Webster, who now plays Wes Newton in the semis.

“I’d have kicked myself if I’d lost that after being in that position but I scraped through and I’ll prepare for the semis now. I’m getting back on the practice board and will work on my doubles a bit.”

Webster hit a 180 in the game’s opening leg, but Chisnall replied in kind before landing double 18 to lead.

Webster landed another maximum in the second, levelling on double two, but Chisnall finished 66 and 74 on double top to win the next two and move 3-1 up.

Tops gave Webster a second leg, but Chisnall landed the same double to win the next following four misses from the Welshman and take a 4-2 cushion.

Webster, though, continued the clinical finishing on tops to hit the bed in winnning the next four legs as he turned a two leg deficit into a two leg lead, and he then hit a 180 and a 100 finish in a 12-darter to move 7-4 up.

Chisnall hit back on double 16 and hit a 180 in being first to a finish in the 13th leg – but he crucially missed seven darts at a double before Webster stepped in on tops to move a leg away from victory.

The St Helens ace opened the next with back-to-back 180s, but after seeing a potential nine-darter go begging he suffered further double trouble to give Webster his chance to take the win.

The Welshman, though, was unable to capitalise with one dart at tops and three on the wire of double ten, with Chisnall posting double two to stay alive.

When Webster missed double 12, six and three to take victory in the 16th leg Chisnall again stepped in, this time taking out 68 on tops to force a decider.

However, Chisnall’s trebles deserted him in his first four visits to the oche as Webster moved clear.

The St Helens man then posted a 180, but it came in vain as Webster returned from three more missed match darts to hit double five and finally reach the semis.

“I’m disappointed to have lost but it was a great game,” said Chisnall. “It took my a while to get going and when I got my scoring going it flowed for me but I was unlucky with a few doubles.”

Source – PDC/Lawrence Lustig